NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Family members gathered Tuesday at a home in the 14000 block of Duane Road where a young mother and her daughter lost their lives.
Inside, police said someone shot 25-year-old Walesha Williams multiple times at about 1 a.m. She died before help could arrive. Her 8-year-old daughter, Paris, was shot in the head and died at the hospital.
"This baby was in her bed," said relative Mercedes Brown. "She was sleeping, and he went into her room and shot her in the head. This baby was in her bed."
Family members said Paris had been living in Texas with her father and arrived in New Orleans on Saturday to attend a funeral.
"She didn't want her baby to go back to Texas," Brown said. "She wanted her baby to stay, so they left the baby and the rest of the family went back to Texas."
Another woman, described as Walesha's friend, was also in the home at the time of the shooting and was shot multiple times. Family members said the woman, afraid of being shot again, played dead until the gunman left the house.
"One of the victims was able to escape and run to a neighbor's house. She asked for help and that person called 911," NOPD Commander Nicholas Gernon said.
Family members believe Walesha Williams knew the shooter. Police, however, said it's too early to tell if that's the case. Instead, they're asking the public for help.
"Obviously, an 8-year-old child was killed this morning," Gernon said. "This hits us hard, and it should hit anybody hard. We ask that anybody with information come forward."
Investigators also hope surveillance video in the neighborhood will offer some clues. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment.